March 6, 2023Share
Kelley Kronenberg Successfully Met Heightened Legal Burden to Obtain a Complete Dismissal with Prejudice for Fraud on the Court
The aggressive defense efforts of Kelley Kronenberg Partner, Jake Huxtable and Practice Group Partner, Emma Meyerson, culminating in a two-hour evidentiary hearing on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, resulted in the Court dismissing the entire case with prejudice for fraud on the Court. The Honorable Maxine Cheesman of the Palm Beach County Circuit Court presided.
Through the attorneys of Consumer Law Office, Plaintiff filed suit against UPC in relation to a guest bathroom shower diverter leak. Prior to filing suit, the insured had simultaneously submitted a second claim with UPC for a “master” bathroom shower pan leak. During litigation, the insured sold the property at issue and, prior to doing so, hired a general contractor for repairs related only to the “master” bathroom claim. However, during deposition, the insured repeatedly testified he paid thousands of dollars (in cash) to his contractor for repairs related to the guest bathroom leak, a fact found to be untrue. Subsequently, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, attaching thereto a sworn affidavit wherein Plaintiff attested, once again, that he paid thousands of dollars for repairs to the subject guest bathroom claim. Again, this testimony was untrue.
After discovery efforts revealed these untruths, Jake Huxtable and Emma Meyerson filed a Motion to Dismiss for Fraud on the Court, clearly and convincingly showing that Plaintiff gave false testimony in his deposition and the subsequent affidavit. In Plaintiff’s Response to our Motion, Plaintiff’s counsel admitted our position was correct—that the contractor never made any repairs related to our guest bathroom claim; rather, he only made repairs to the master bathroom. Further, Plaintiff’s counsel stipulated Plaintiff would withdraw the claim for reimbursement of the thousands of dollars Plaintiff paid to the contractor. In essence, Plaintiff admitted he committed fraud in the litigation by falsely claiming monies not incurred or related to our claim.
At the evidentiary hearing, Plaintiff’s counsel aggressively opposed our Motion to Dismiss. He made excuses for Plaintiff’s false statements, arguing that his client made an “honest mistake” and “unintentional” misstatements, which is why they agreed in the Response to withdraw those claimed damages related to the general contractor. These arguments failed to persuade the judge who, ultimately, granted our Motion and dismissed the case with prejudice.
Through this impressive win, Jake Huxtable and Emma Meyerson shielded our client from liability and paved the way for a 57.105 Motion and a claim for attorneys’ fees and costs.